I was shoved way outside my comfort zone when I agreed to model for photographer Pedro Marenco. I figured an endeavor like this could only help me become a better photographer by seeing first hand what a photo shoot looks like from the other side of the camera. Overall it was a great experience I learned a few things and had some fun in the process.
When I asked Pedro about the style and theme of the shoot he said that he wanted me to do sexy. After the laughing subsided, I told him that I haven’t done sexy since the digits in my age were reversed and I wasn’t all that good at it back then either. He said I could show off my hard work at the gym. All I can see is how much more work there is yet to do. We agreed that we would do a more natural, slightly glamorous shoot and transition into a somewhat tribal look. We found some inspiration through Pinterest and went to work.
RED?? Me? The Bolder the better he said. But I don’t do red! Truth of the matter is I rarely wear any lipstick at all.
I have never really had makeup professionally done to this extent before. Sheila DeGrace is both a very talented make up artist and an aspiring model herself. She's a natural and has a great touch. I was very comfortable with her. Well, for the most part... having her working that closely to my face had me a little self-conscious. I asked for some gum which, surprisingly, she actually had. It was really good gum; it was the ice cube type. Here is a testament to Sheila‘s professionalism. She asked me to hold still while she quickly grabbed a tissue and whisked away at something on my chest. She later told me that it was a spider crawling on me. I admire the way she prevented the work that she had done so far from being ruined by either of us freaking out over stupid spider.
It was finally time for the photography to begin. Being on the other side was pure comedy at first… I was unsuccessful in my effort to conceal the ice cube gum which Pedro quickly discovered.
Then I had a fit of the giggles when Pedro started directing me. He was requesting the open mouth. He wanted me to do something called the model's look. He said, "you know the one with the mouth slightly open..." Sadly, I had no clue. But I guess I must’ve gotten it right at some point because I actually liked it when I saw the final image.
I noticed Pedro doing some of the things that I sometimes do during a photo session and was able to see how strange it might look up from the other side. For example, I could tell when he was grabbing focus or composing in camera. The camera was aimed at me then away, back and forth, up and down.
As the shoot went on, I was finally able to relax, let go and have fun. This may or may not have been evident after one particular wardrobe change. I put on a purple outfit and Sheila suggested updating the lipstick also. Well, I always want to be considerate, but I audibly gasped when I saw the orange lipstick. Orange? Really? Yes! It complements the purple outfit that you’re wearing. Well, ok then.
The styling transitioned from a natural/Glamorous/urban look to a more exotic tribal look. At this point, I was truly comfortable and down for whatever. Therefore, when the glitter and face paint came out; it was no big deal. I was ready to rock it!
Having the Pinterest inspirational shots available helped immensely with posing. I was able to get a little more creative and free with my movement.
The shoot was a great learning experience and lots of fun. Another highly valued perk is that I have received images of myself that I absolutely love! Trust me this, this is a very rare occurrence.
I am grateful for Pedro‘s patience and mastery of light and Sheila‘s audaciousness. Her impeccable makeup application made retouching a snap! Thank you! You guys Rock! I look forward to our next creative venture!
Photography - Pedro Marenco
Makeup - Sheila DeGrace
Model/Retouching - Debra Ledsinger